Ed Miliband’s promise to make sex education compulsory if Labour wins the 2015 general election has been welcomed by young people’s sexual health charity Brook.
In January, the House of Lords rejected a Labour amendment to the Children and Families Bill, which would have make sex education, including lessons on same-sex relationships, compulsory across state-funded primary and secondary schools.
Plans for statutory Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) failed in the House of Commons last summer, after they were voted down by Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs.
Questioning the logic of Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg in siding with the Tories against statutory SRE, Mr Miliband said: “Making sex education in schools compulsory is the right thing to do, it’s the right thing for our young people, it’s the right thing for our country, and we should have the courage of our convictions.”
Brook Chief Executive Simon Blake told PinkNews.co.uk: “Brook has long campaigned to make SRE statutory in all schools, including academies and free schools, so we are really pleased to hear Ed Miliband promise to make it a reality if Labour wins in 2015. We look forward to hearing more details about Labour’s plans from Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt.
“Getting SRE that teaches about more than just the bare biological essentials into all schools is, as Mr Miliband says, the right thing to do – young people deserve a thorough and non-judgemental grounding in SRE to keep them safe, healthy and happy now and in the future. Our newly published SRE Supplementary Advice, produced alongside the PSHE Association and the Sex Education Forum, offers easy to follow guidance to schools that want to improve their teaching of SRE.”
The National AIDS Trust also welcomed Mr Miliband’s announcement. NAT Director of Policy and Campaigns, Yusef Azad, told PinkNews.co.uk: “Finally we were extremely heartened to see Ed Miliband committing to compulsory sex education. This is something that NAT has long campaigned for. Not only must sex ed be compulsory but inclusive of LGBT young people and provide young people with the practical information they need to protect themselves and their partners from HIV.”